For their third album, Themes have pulled back the curtain on a sound that could once be described as somber. Accordingly, Loveweapons is filled with light; it’s a loud, brash, celebratory record, and a terrific one at that. While its eight songs sound no less dramatic than Themes’ 2007 album War over the Great Plains or 2011’s The Phantom, Kelsey Crawford and Jacy McIntosh have turned their songs—which could previously seem at times like a conversation between them outward at the world. Songs like “Get By” and “I Would Die for You, Let’s Sing!” are celebrations of hope and gratitude, but more importantly, they’re the most inviting and welcoming music the duo has made yet.
“We had written about half of the songs and played a few of them on the road,” says McIntosh of Loveweapons, which they recorded with producer Brandon Eggleston. “So there was a good mix of things that had been road-tested and not—because I always go back and forth on the validity of playing something on the road until it’s just muscle memory being performed on a tape, or if it’s a creative process captured in the studio that becomes something where you get to experience the ideas happening as we do. So it’s a little bit of both of those worlds, which is cool, because I feel like we did consciously make the decision to make a rock album. All the reviews of the previous albums were great, but a lot of people would touch on the darker aspects.”
Themes first started making music in Santa Rosa, California, and continued when the pair moved to Minneapolis; McIntosh and Crawford have called Portland home since Election Night 2008. While they have every intention of staying put here, they both admit they sometimes feel more at home on the road than staying in one place. Crawford’s mom traveled for a living and McIntosh grew up in a military family, each resulting in a childhood spent on the move.
“It’s something we’re very accustomed to,” McIntosh says.
“We kind of have that in common,” says Crawford.
“Even when we lived in other cities, we were kind of transient,” says McIntosh. “Lots of touring.”
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Active Members: Jacy McIntosh, Kelsey Crawford-McIntosh
Related Artists: The Velvet Teen
Related Labels: Self Group
Releases | Debut release with Self Group to be announced